It’s Better To Be Nice

Too often, we rage, rant, and rave against the wrong people.

Wars effect the least of a population first – nations focus weapons against regimes and dictators but it’s the sick, the poor and the elderly who suffer first and suffer worst.

Another business principle extracted from the tales of Jesus, is that we should respond in kindness – especially when those helpless victims are the ones who may be hurting us, through no choice of their own.  Look closely at the story of Peter’s sword-swinging, ear-chopping defense of Jesus, when the guards came to take him:

“Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.” ~John 18:10, KJV

Now, consider this perspective:

“…the victim of the violence is identified as the slave of the high priest.  A slave is someone who does not act independently but only under orders.  It would be unusual to arm a slave, especially if armed men were already present.  The victim of Peter’s sword is, quite possibly, an unarmed man who had no choice about being there in the first place.” ~Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus, A Lenten Study by John Indermark.

How can we apply the wisdom of Christ in our modern lives?  I think we should examine the way we treat similar people every single day.  Maybe you don’t realize it, but you’re interacting and conducting business with people who are “just following orders,” with as must innocence as the slave in the story of Jesus’ abduction.  It’s better to be nice to them, and treat them like they matter – they are (after all), there to serve you.

  • The waitress (She’s at the mercy of the kitchen, and only delivers what they produce.)
  • The cashier (Even when s/he is having trouble with your return.)
  • The telemarketer (I know…this one cuts deep.)

I have a really difficult time eating with people who are rude to the servers in restaurants…it’s hard for me to ever think well of someone who’s a jerk to a complete stranger.  I’m not alone, because many job interviews are conducted over meals simply to observe how you interact with others.  {Theres also a legend of Henry Ford, not hiring someone who salted their food before tasting it.}

Being pleasant is better than presenting yourself as a grumpy or arrogant customer.  Appreciation goes a long way toward getting what you want, and it’s better to acknowledge that you’re in charge of yourself and your emotions, rather than defaulting to visible anger that creates a “get rid of this idiot,” objective from someone’s manager.

Bottom line: sugar goes further than salt, so you’ll stand a better chance of getting what you want if you help the other person maintain their dignity by respecting them.

DrDIY is a food-safety professional with an extensive sanitation background within the food & beverage manufacturing industry. He consults on food-safety - from hygienic-design to integrated pest-management through microbiology support, quality improvement audits, total-process management philosophy, CIP optimization, and lean-six-sigma project participation.

Overcoming an extended disability through a complete overhaul of diet and nutrition, DrDIY embraced traditional naturopathy and combined the wisdom of nature with the principles of modern sanitation to help build more sustainable systems within the food industry. He continues to study and practice holistic nutrition, food-safety, detoxification, and self-improvement and this site represents personal experience and opinion - and does not reflect the position of any employer past or present.

His posts have always been a 'stream of consciousness' montage with occasional ventures into Christology and pop culture, just to keep things interesting.

Please take note: Great conversation involves many ingredients - including disagreement or healthy-conflict. I may delete comments that are illegal, offensive or off-topic, obscene, fraudulent or misleading, deceptive or property of others. Respectfully articulated differing perspectives are always welcome.